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The latest Public Sector Employment (PSE) statistics, covering Quarter 2 2017, were published on 13th September 2017.

See below for the National Statistics publication and updated PSE Websection content.

The latest and past publications can be found on the Labour Market Statistics Publications page.

Public Sector Employment

Welcome to the Public Sector Employment (PSE) Statistics websection

This websection provides access to all the latest Public Sector Employment statistics which are published quarterly. The latest statistics cover the period Q2 2017 and were updated at 9.30 am on the 13th September 2017.

The PSE statistics provide useful information on the level and structure of public sector employment in Scotland.

National Statistics Publication Notice

The latest National Statistics Publication Notice presenting the key public sector trends can be found at the following link:

Statistics Publication Notice: Public Sector Employment in Scotland: Statistics for 2nd Quarter 2017

The most recent and previous versions of this release are available from the Labour Market Statistics Publications webpage or via a search of all Scottish Government publications.

Please see the Local Government PSE page for further information on public sector employment in Scottish Local government.

Things to note:

On 17th December 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that from 1st September 2014, Network Rail will be reclassified as a Central Government body in the public sector and will apply from April 2004.

On 30th April 2014, ONS announced the reclassification of Lloyds Banking Group plc. (and subsidiaries) as a former Public Corporation into the private sector (with effect from March 2014). Subsidiaries of Lloyds Banking Group plc. include: Scottish Widows Bank plc. TSB Bank plc., Lloyds Bank plc., Black Horse Limited, AMC Bank Limited and Bank of Scotland plc.  This reclassification has resulted in approximately 19,400 staff (headcount) moving into the private sector.  More information on this can be found in Classification of Lloyds Banking Group and Subsidiaries

ONS announced the reclassification of both Royal Mail Group plc. (effective from October 2013) and Direct Line Group (effective from September 2013), as former Public Corporations.  This resulted in approximately 12,400 staff (headcount) moving into the private sector.

A separate public sector series excluding the effects of major reclassifications has been included in this publication to show the impact of the reclassifications on the number of people employed in the public sector.

National Accounts Classification

On 30th November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that from 22nd November 2013, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Limited will be classified as a Non-financial Public Corporation.  Therefore, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Limited has been included in the Public Sector series from Q4 2013.

On 1st October 2015, Historic Scotland (previously part of the devolved civil service) and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (a non-departmental public body) merged to become Historic Environment Scotland. Historic Environment Scotland will be classified as a Non-Departmental Public Body.

On 1st October 2016, the Office for National Statistics announced that from 2nd December 2015, Aberdeen Harbour Board would no longer be classified as a public non-financial corporation but instead be classified as a National Private non-financial Corporation.

Notification of changes to the Public Sector Employment Statistics Series and Websection

From the Q1 2013 publication:

Public Sector Employment in Scotland is classed as a Market Sensitive National Statistics.  This brings it into line with the Office For National Statistics Public Sector Employment publication.



Public Sector Employment Statistics in more detail...

More detailed, up-to-date information on Public Sector Employment can be found at the various links shown below:

The latest publication and web-tables provide information on:

  • Overall public sector employment in Scotland
  • Employment in the devolved public sector in Scotland

           This section focuses on employment in public bodies which are the devolved responsibility of the Scottish

           Government or Scottish Parliament.

  • Employment in the reserved public sector in Scotland

           This section focuses on the public sector bodies for which the UK Government has ministerial


Local government employment for Scotland and by local authority

This section provides information on local government employment in each local authority by staffing group (Police and related staff, Fire and related staff and Other staff). This information is collected in the quarterly Joint Staffing Watch Survey and feeds into the PSE publication.

Link to detailed excel tables

Tables showing complete time series for each quarter from Q1 1999.

Background notes

Technical information covering PSE methodology, concepts and definitions. Information on any revisions made to the series are available in the background notes.

Related Links

Links to:

  • Revisions policy
  • UK Public Sector Employment
  • Regional estimates of public sector employment
  • Annual Civil Service statistics